Monday, February 23, 2009

Still Waiting for Copy of RCMP Report Since November 13

On November 13, 2008, after the November RCMP Report came out, I called Constable Yves Allan, the lead investigator who was investigating the tragedy of January 12, 2008. I asked Const. Allain for the RCMP Report that had just been released.

He told me that it would take some time and that I would have to go through my lawyer to recieve the report.

On November 18, I called a second time to ask for the July RCMP Reconstruction Report and the RCMP investigation file. I got the same answer, essentially that "it takes time" and "we didn't forget about you."

As it so happens, six months earlier, in July 2008, after the RCMP Reconstruction Report was released, we had asked if we could go the the RCMP station in Bathurst to read the reports because they told us that we could go anytime to read it.

At the time we were very upset because we had just found out that the Van in which our sons were riding that night belonged to a non-profit company Bathurst Van Inc.. We had no idea until the July RCMP Reconstruction Report was released that the company was run by a board consisting of the Principal Colleen Ramsay, two vice principals and a teacher. It was a complete shock to us, because for the previous six months since the accident, we had met with the Principal numerous times in our homes and all that time she, and nobody else, ever said anything to us about them owning the van. We felt deceived.

So when the RCMP Report came out in November, we were ready to read the Reconstruction Report from July as well. I asked if I could go to their office and read it. Const. Yves Allain said that I couldn't do that. This, in spite of the fact that in July, when the RCMP Reconstruction Report was released, we were invited to go back anytime to read it.

We can't help but think that the RCMP says one thing to the public in front of the media, and as soon as the media is gone, it says another thing to the parents who are trying to access these Reports, we parents who are in mourning and who have no experience whatsoever in this kind of situation. We find it difficult to confront those in authority but we are forced to do it because they refuse to give us the information we are rightfully asking for.

I was disappointed and angry with the mixed messages from the RCMP. After Const. Allain said he would do it as soon as possible when they have the time and couldn't give me a date for the November or July reports. I called my lawyer to send a letter to the RCMP asking for a copy of both reports. The letter went out on December 5th, 2008 that was followed up by a phone call from my lawyer. When we didn't hear anything I called Cons. Yves Allain again on January 17, 2009 and left a messsage and again the same response that copies have to be made and it takes time. Again I say, When will I get it. Another letter dated January 22, 2009 was sent to the RCMP by my lawyer asking again for both Reports.

On Monday, January 17, I had called Gregg Forestell, the Acting Chief Coroner, and he told me that both he had the prosecutor had the Reports "to educate themselves" on the tragedy. So I knew that the RCMP had photocopied the Reports and made them accessible to the Coroner and the Crown Prosecutor.

I called Const. Yves Allain on February 17 and left a message he was not in his office. On Sunday, February 22, I received a phone call from Cont. Yves Allain at my home. I told him that I still didn't receive the two reports. The Greg Forestel and the Prosceutor has it but we still dont have it to prepare myself for our son inquest and Why?

This is all we want too - a photocopy of the same report so that we can be prepared at the inquest of our sons Javier and Daniel with all the information before us. We are the mothers and should be able to have this information like the Coroner and the Crown Prosecutor without having to beg for it. This is critical information which is important to us and it's not too much to ask. We have the right just like any other authority to have the reports.

I asked Const. Allain how long it would be before I could get the report. He couldn't give me a date.

We don't want to have the report one week before the Inquest. We are entitled to have it now. Just like the Coroner and the Crown Prosecutor, we need these reports to prepare ourselves and we have been asking politely since November but keep getting put off by the RCMP.

On Sunday, Const. Allain asked me to "be patient". He said it "takes time".

We do not accept that it takes nearly four months to get a photocopy of the RCMP reports into the deaths of our sons.